1923 American Type Founders Specimen Book & Catalogue
Topics specimen book
, type specimen
, American Type Founders
, graphic design
A high-quality digitization of the complete 1923 edition of the American Type Founders (ATF) Specimen Book. Considered by many to be the culmination of specimen printing, it is an important, and massive volume, documenting the culture of printing, advertising, and typography in the early 20th century. This issue is optimized for mobile devices. This work is in the public domain. Digitized by David Armstrong/Sevanti Letterpress.
May 11, 2016
It's not 600dpi
The 1923 ATF catalog is an amazing work of art, and I'm delighted that it's available online.
However, the resolution of the scans leaves something to be desired — they're about 150dpi. That's nice for an overview of a page, but hardly enough to get a good look at the letterforms. There's also a high degree of JPEG compression.
I downloaded the full 1.1GB torrent and looked at both the PDF and the folder of individual .jp2 files. They're the same resolution. The strange thing, the .jp2 files technically are 600dpi (3976x6074), but if you zoom in you can see that the visible pixels are 4x larger. So someone took a 150dpi scan and upsampled it to 600dpi, which does nothing but bloat the file size. Weird!
Because of that, I recommend just downloading the PDF. It's much smaller than the whole archive, and you don't lose any resolution.
March 21, 2015
...the greengrocer's apostrophes in Armstrong's new preface probably has Rogers, Goudy and Morris spinning like power plant turbines.
January 28, 2014
A good digitization of the ATF classic.
While the overall file size is smaller, this appears to be a better capture (600 ppi) than the version on the Archive with "Hi-resolution" in the title.
February 5, 2013
Great scan, fascinating document
1200 pages of metal-type fonts, borders, rules, illustrations, etc. for repurposing to digital use. Thanks, David Armstrong & Sevanti Letterpress!